Announcing the “Paper Chef” event.

You have undoubtedly heard of diamond anniversaries and golden anniversaries. There are in fact a whole series of these names to mark special occasions. The diamond and golden anniversaries are to commemorate long-lasting occasions of great duration and near-permanence. But there are names for less prestigious anniversaries, too. The most pathetic of all is the one-year anniversary. It is known as the “paper anniversary.”

Now let’s switch gears. Food bloggers in the US and Japan and many other parts of the world will be familiar with “the Iron Chef” cooking show. Great chefs are put up against one of the iron chefs in a rather over-the-top and dramatic cooking competition to see who can make the most spectacular food from a host of regular ingredients and one special ingredient – say octopus. There is a somewhat similar TV show in Britain called “Ready, Steady, Cook!”

The third part of the genesis of this latest event is that while we now have IMBB, WBW and SHF, they all rely on lots and lots of advance notice. I have a family with young(ish) kids. I have lots of work (though still no job). I have no time for idle reflection upon the grand theme of…well, actually I do have the time. But honestly, I do do most of my cooking under some time pressure and I like it. I’d be happy to be a contestant on “Ready, Steady, Cook.” So I though we might as well have an online food blogger event that does something similar.

So, without further ado, we have the “Paper Chef.” On the first Friday of every month at some point prior to Noon PST, I will announce a list of four ingredients that must be used, along with any other ingredients you choose, to make a dish and then write about it by Noon PST on Sunday, 48 hours later. An impartial guest judge will pick the best sounding recipe to them and the winner will be awarded the “Paper Chef” title for that month along with a meaningless prize of no intrinsic value that I will donate. Anyone who wants to is welcome to submit ingredient ideas and all suitable ones will go onto a list. Three of the ingredients will be randomly picked from the list and the fourth will be seasonal or trendy or in the news in some way. If the list of four is totally unsuitable (maraschino cherries, english mustard, liver and suet) then we will redraw randomly until it is conceivable to cook with all four ingredients.

We will start with Friday December 3rd. Please send me or add a comment about proposed ingredients and you do not have to sign up – just send me an email to the address listed above left – to let me know you posted and are an official entry.

I hope this turns out to be enjoyable!